Born in Quebec in 1937, Fernand Labrie earned his first degree from the Séminaire de Québec, and his MD and PhD. (Endocrinology) degrees from Laval University. He completed postdoctoral studies at Sussex and Cambridge universities in Britain. He is the founder of the Molecular Endocrinology Research Laboratory at Laval University in Quebec, Chairman of the Department of Molecular Endocrinology at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université Laval (CHUL), full time physician in the Department of Medicine and Research Director at the CHUL Research Center where about 150 senior investigators, 450 graduate students and 600 members of research personnel have been working under his leadership. Labrie also chaired the Department of Physiology and Anatomy at Laval University Medical School for 12 years and is a former President of the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism and the Canadian Society for Clinical Investigation and former Vice-President of the International Society of Neuroendocrinology. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada.
Professor Labrie is one of the most accomplished scholars in the international scientific community. He published more than 1200 scientific articles and is the most cited Canadian scientist among all disciplines in the world, his studies being cited more than 40,000 times. His most important contribution to prostate cancer research was the advent of “reversible chemical castration” for the treatment of prostate cancer. This ground-breaking treatment strategy replaced orchiectomy (surgical removal of the testis) and the use of high doses of female hormones (estrogens), which were the standard treatment methods for prostate cancer, thus removing both the psychological disadvantage of orchiectomy and the cardiovascular complications of high estrogen doses, and thereby improving the patient’s quality of life. Another major contribution by Labrie was the development and clinical application of a new combined hormone therapy (combined androgen blockade) which can induce a complete cure of localized prostate cancer and extend patient’s survival in metastatic cases. Professor Labrie and his group also pioneered the screening and early detection of prostate cancer. In short, Professor Labrie and his team brought a successful paradigm of prostate cancer treatment which is now helping hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide.
In addition to the King Faisal International Prize for Medicine, Professor Labrie’s outstanding contributions to molecular endocrinology and oncology were recognized by many awards and distinctions. In 1979, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. In 1981 he was made Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1991, he was made Officer of the National Order of Quebec and in 1999.he was awarded the prestigious Izaak Walton-Killam Memorial Prize of the Canada Council for Arts. He is also the recipient of the Medal of the College de France, the Scientific Career Award of the “Association des médecins de Langue Française du Canada,” the Canada Gold Medal and “Man of the Year” from the American Biographic Institute.
Professor Labrie is a member of around 69 professional associations and was invited on more than 475 occasions to present his work at national and international symposia and Lectureships. He is also a member, associate member or corresponding member of the editorial boards of many leading scientific and medical journals.
Professor Fernand Labrie, has been awarded the prize, in recognition of their respective contributions to therapeutic and surgical management of prostate cancer.
Professor Labrie is recognized for developing LHRH agonists and combined androgen blockage in the treatment of Prostatic Cancer – these innovative procedures have replaced orchiectomy (surgical removal of the testes) and estrogen therapy, and changed the quality of life of prostate cancer patients. He has also evaluated early detection procedures for prostate cancer which helped increase the patients’ chances for survival.